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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Using Thermal Imaging On The Job

10/26/2021 (Permalink)

Detecting a temperature difference behind a wall can save big bucks and time by avoiding the need for demolition and an idea where the source of water problem may lie. Temperature differences do not always indicate moisture or water. It could be cool air from outside, so it requires some skill to determine if it’s one thing or another.

Thermal cameras serve to guide the user to the cold spots usually associated with moisture. Moisture spots, where evaporation is happening, tend to be cooler, just like humans sweating. Most commonly, thermal imaging is used to find the source of a roof leak, condensation issues, leaking pipes, or air flow issues.

In areas where moisture problems are abundant, like Seattle, the reasons for moisture can be very, very different, but the end consequence is moisture in the space, which can deteriorate the structure, and trigger mold growth. Often, moisture problems are not in the most visibly noticeable locations, as infrared discovered here in this wood-paneled wall and dark, low-pile, loop carpeting.

At first, the darker blue area on the camera was thought to be a normal pattern seen in many wood-frame buildings, which is quite common on corners. However, the larger light-green area showing was a clue that something more was happening, however.  In fact, this was a result of a water leak in an adjoining upstairs room.

These two infrared images show where water from an unattended bathtub overflow in an upstairs room had entered the space between the floors and pooled on the drywall of the downstairs ceiling. Knowing the location and extent of moisture infiltration is critical in determining the best course of remediation

This infrared image clearly shows the heat from hot water leaking out of a supply pipe down the inside of the plumbing wall cavity behind the shower panel. Pinpointing the approximate location of this leak saved considerable time, effort and money in resolving the issue.

SERVPRO of Fair Oaks / Folsom technicians use FLIR Infared Cameras on job sites to assist in finding where/what the source may be if the customer is unsure.

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